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A stirring collection of keenly observed stories from the 2007 winner of the Michigan Literary Fiction Award for short fiction

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Copyright © 2007, University of Michigan. All rights reserved.


“Elaine Ford’s collection roams the territory between the intellect and the heart. She writes of the human condition with precision, in language that is both grave and conversational. Her characters step out of the real world onto the page, where she develops them quietly, but with compassionate fullness. This writer grips the reader with her keen knowledge of the psyche of individuals-—their motives and secrets—and also with the surprising things that happen to them.”
—Laura Kasischke, judge, Michigan Literary Fiction Awards

Of Elaine Ford’s novel, Missed Connections, the Washington Post wrote that it is a work “of small episodes, of precise sentences, of unusual clarity.” That same clarity proves an unsettling force in Ford’s stories, where precision of prose often belies uncertainties hidden beneath. In the title piece, an American woman in England, embroiled in a relationship doomed to fail, discovers how little she understands about her own desires and impulses. In another story, another American wife, abandoned in Greece by her archaeologist husband, struggles to solve a crime no one else believes to have been committed.

Throughout her stories Ford touches on the mysteries that make up our lives. Each story in itself is a masterpiece of such detail and power as to transform the way we see the world.

Elaine Ford is the author of five novels. For her fiction she has received two National Endowment for the Arts grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is Professor Emerita at the University of Maine, where she taught creative writing and literature. She lives in Harpswell, Maine.